Jake Batsell


Associate Professor and William J. O’Neil Chair in Business Journalism






O’Neil Program in Business Journalism

Jake Batsell reported for more than a decade at newspapers including The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. As a business reporter, he covered Fortune 500 corporations including Starbucks, Nordstrom and Costco Wholesale, and traveled to Costa Rica and Nicaragua for an award-winning series examining the global coffee industry.

At SMU, his courses focus on business journalism, media entrepreneurship, digital journalism, and the shifting economics of the news industry. He oversees the O’Neil Program in Business Journalism, an interdisciplinary program for Journalism and/or Fashion Media students who also are enrolled in the Cox School of Business. He also chairs the education committee for the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing (SABEW), the world’s largest and oldest organization of business and financial journalists.

His book, Engaged Journalism: Connecting with Digitally Empowered News Audiences (Columbia University Press, February 2015), has been used in newsrooms and classrooms across the United States, was translated into Korean, and was a finalist for the national Tankard Book Award. He spent the 2013-14 academic year at The Texas Tribune in Austin as part of a Knight Foundation fellowship to research best practices in the business of digital news.

Batsell’s creative work at SMU includes numerous publications in both peer-reviewed academic journals and influential periodicals within the journalism industry. He has presented his work to professional and university audiences ranging from Germany to Australia to the South by Southwest Interactive Festival. He also coordinated the Division of Journalism’s digital student media operations for eight years.

View CV



M.A. in Government, University of Texas at Austin
B.A. in Journalism, Arizona State University

Recent Work


Audience engagement
Digital revenue strategies
Online news startups and nonprofits


2020 Nominated for SMU’s Honoring Our Professors’ Excellence (HOPE) Professor of the Year Award

2018-2020 Coordinator, Research Prize for Professional Relevance, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. The national prize, which carries a $1,000 award, was established by the AEJMC Presidential Task Force on Bridges to the Professions with the goal of fostering stronger ties between media professionals and educators. 

2017 Tow-Knight Fellowship for Disruptive Educators, City University of New York.

2016 Finalist, Tankard Book Award, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

2013-14 Texas Tribune Fellowship, funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

2012 Scripps Howard Entrepreneurial Journalism Institute fellowship at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Arizona State University

2009 Knight Digital Media Center fellowship, University of California at Berkeley

2005 Award for Excellence in Economic Reporting, presented by The Institute on Political Journalism and The Fund for American Studies in Washington, D.C.

2005 Gerald Loeb Awards, finalist.

2004 Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Awards, finalist.

1999-2005 Pacific Northwest Society of Professional Journalists awards for comprehensive coverage, spot news and business features.


Batsell, Jake. “The Net Broadened the Base: How Technology Expanded Audiences for Business News.” In Joseph Weber & Richard S. Dunham (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Business Journalism. New York: Routledge, 2024, pp. 197-207.

Batsell, Jake. “Lessons on Running Virtual Events From Nonprofit News Organizations.” Stanford Social Innovation Review, September 2020.

Everbach, T., Batsell, J., Champlin, S., and Nisbett, G. “Does a More Diverse Newspaper Staff Reflect Its Community? A Print and Digital Content Analysis of The Dallas Morning News.” Southwestern Mass Communication Journal, Vol. 35 (1), Spring 2019, pp. 1-18.

Batsell, Jake. “From rural news audiences to Russian tweets, this new research has some useful takeaways for reporters.” The Poynter Institute, August 2018.

Batsell, Jake. “Four Steps to Bring Ethical Clarity to Native Advertising.” Nieman Reports, January 2018.

Batsell, Jake. “Nonprofit Model Development.” In Michelle Ferrier & Elizabeth Mays (Eds.), Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Rebus Community Press, 2017.

Batsell, Jake. “There is a Swedish city where the CueCat lives on as a monument to media’s digital failures.” Nieman Journalism Lab, June 2017.

Batsell, Jake. Engaged Journalism: Connecting With Digitally Empowered News Audiences. New York: Columbia University Press, 2015.

Batsell, Jake. “Earning Their Keep: Revenue Strategies From The Texas Tribune and Other Nonprofit News Organizations.” Miami: Knight Foundation, April 2015.

Kraeplin, Camille and Jake Batsell. “Web-Centric Convergence Replaces Media Partnerships.” Newspaper Research Journal, Vol. 34 (4), Fall 2013, pp. 68-82.

Batsell, Jake. “The ‘Original Platform’: How Newsrooms Build Digital Loyalty and Generate Revenue Through Face-to-Face Engagement,” #ISOJ – The Official Research Journal of the International Symposium on Online Journalism Journal, Vol. 3 (2), Spring 2013, pp. 274-289.

Batsell, Jake. “Intrigued, But Not Immersed: Millennial Students Analyze News Apps During the iPad’s First Year,” Electronic News, Vol. 6 (3), September 2012, pp. 111-130.

Batsell, Jake. “Friday Night Bytes: In Texas, high school football is the killer app,” Columbia Journalism Review, January/February 2012, pp. 39-41.

Batsell, Jake. “Lone Star Trailblazer: Will the Texas Tribune transform Texas journalism?Columbia Journalism Review, July/August 2010, pp. 39-43.

Professional Experience

Staff writer and videographer, The Dallas Morning News
Staff writer, The Seattle Times
Adjunct professor of journalism, University of North Texas

Course list

Business and Journalism JOUR 4306
Building Digital Audiences MSA 2305
Media Entrepreneurship JOUR 3355
Digital Product Innovation JOUR 5306